You’re navigating through the aisles of your local garden center, pick out a few succulents, check out, and drive home happy. Fast forward two months later, however, and here you are peering down at the wilted disgrace with a slight head tilt. What went wrong? Did you water the little guy too often? Or was it the humidity? If can relate to these pestering thoughts then don’t worry, you’re in the right place.
Here we offer you advice on properly caring for succulents
1. What is a succulent?
For starters, it’s always best to start off your gardening expedition with knowing exactly what a succulent is. In short, a succulent is any plant that has an abnormally thick or fleshly exterior, can retain water, and, if not most importantly, equipped with the general ability to survive in ecosystems with scarce water sources.
With that being said it is a general rule of thumb to be cautious of overwatering these plants. But we’ll touch on that more a bit later.
2. Are you growing your plants indoors or outdoors?
It’s important to keep in mind that not all succulents are suited for exclusively indoor or outdoor living. Think about it. Just like people, if a person from Southern California were to visit the U.K. they would probably feel much colder than the locals. Reason being: when we are suddenly introduced to unfamiliar elements our bodies become most sensitive to changes in temperature and lighting. And just like plants, these factors can also make us feel uncomfortable.
The solution? Pay attention to the species of the plant your purchasing and educate yourself about the environment it originated from, how much water it may or may not need, and if it’s an invasive species.
Besides, you wouldn’t adopt a pet without knowing how to take care of it, would you? The same thing goes for plants.
A pro tip: Succulents that have bright hues (for example purple, orange, or red) are not your ideal candidates for indoor living. If you’re a beginner in caring for succulents start off with a plant variety that is naturally green such as Hayworthia or Gasteria.
Although some succulents are more sensitive to light than others it is still important to place your plants near a window.
In fact, when a succulent isn’t getting enough sun the leaves of the plant will start to stretch (this is most commonly seen in the colorful variety). So, and as mentioned before, always be sure you’re informed on your plants’ specific needs.
Did you know: In rare cases, a succulent will actually get sunburned.
The key to watering your succulents is rather simple: Provide lots of water, but less often. Believe it or not, even though succulents are genetically made to survive in climates with limited water sources they also need lots of water. But the mistake most individuals make caring for succulents is making their watering sessions a daily ritual.
In a deeper context, although succulents absolutely thrive for water their roots will soak it up rather quickly. With that being said, water your succulents once or twice a week.
5. Avoid glass containers
Let’s say that one again. Avoid glass containers. Reason being, not only does this choice of container discourage draining but it also prevents the plant from breathing. With that being said it’s best to opt for a container that has holes at the bottom of it.
Check out this beautiful one on Amazon.
6. Don’t be afraid to propagate
Or, in other words, use clippings from your existing succulents to grow new ones. By taking off the leaves of your plants you can have a thriving garden in no time without emptying out your wallet. And guess what? It’s actually much easier than you think (and arguably addictive). To learn more about propagating you can visit this link here.